When the temperatures rise during the summer, so do the chances that a worker will suffer the ill effects of heat-related illness. Many workers are susceptible to various types of occupational illnesses caused by extreme heat, even those who work indoors. With awareness and increased safety measures, Ohio workers are able to work safely in the summer heat.
One of the most important ways that workers can be safer while working in the heat is through simple awareness. Through education about the types of illnesses that are possible and their effects, workers can better recognize signs of heat sicknesses and know what to do when dangerous symptoms present.
Beating the heat at work
Employers bear the responsibility of making sure that workers are safe and have the tools necessary to stay safe on job sites. When it comes to beating the heat, employers may consider providing the following:
- Sufficient break times
- Increased ventilation in certain types of buildings
- Air conditioning
- Providing cool water
Through these measures, it can make various types of work environments safer when temperatures reach certain numbers. A few steps can increase safety, increase productivity and lessen the chance that you or one of your co-workers will need medical care due to a heat-related illness or injury.
Education about working safely in the heat
Education and training is a crucial component of staying safe in the heat. Employees should receive training on the following:
- Signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses
- The necessity of regular breaks
- Importance of drinking water and making overall health a priority
- Importance of receiving immediate medical care for those who become ill
- Heat illness prevention procedures
- Steps and procedures when a worker needs medical care
These are just some of the ways that training can make work safer and better for individuals who may face exposure to heat, sun and extreme temperatures during the summer.
What should I know if I become ill?
If you become ill as a result of heat exposure, you would be wise to be well aware of your rights regarding medical care and compensation. Certain benefits may be available to you through your employer's workers' compensation insurance, including recovery of medical expenses, restitution for lost wages and other expenses.
Occupational illnesses, including those caused by heat, are grounds to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. If you believe you may need this type of assistance, you have no time to lose in fighting for your full and fair recovery.